You have 24 hours to report a dog bite in Ohio. Ohio Administrative Code §3701-3-28 requires you to file a report with the local health commissioner within 24 hours of a dog bite or attack by another mammal.
This will trigger an investigation, and both the report and the investigation could play a key role in helping you hold the dog’s owner liable and recovering compensation in a civil suit.
Why You Should Report a Dog Bite Quickly
You should not wait to file a report for many reasons, including that it violates state statutes. One other important reason is that reporting the bite often pairs with a visit to the doctor, and medical treatment is very important after an animal attack. Dog saliva can carry multiple kinds of dangerous bacteria. Get treated as soon as possible.
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Recoverable Damages in an Ohio Dog Bite Case
The damages recoverable in an Ohio dog bite case differ depending on your specific losses and expenses. If Bressman Law handles your case, we will collect documentation to prove your related damages as a part of our investigation into the incident and your injuries.
If we negotiate a settlement with the insurer or win an award for you in court, you may be eligible to recover compensation for:
- Medical treatment and ongoing care
- Future care costs, including plastic surgery
- Prescription medications
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Lost wages and benefits
- Diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Wrongful death damages
Understanding Ohio’s Dog Bite Reporting Law and Procedure
Under Ohio law, the victim of a dog bite must file a report within 24 hours of the incident. You can file a bite report incident with the local health commissioner where the attack occurred. If you have not filed this report, the doctor who provides your medical care and cleans your wounds must file a report.
A veterinarian who sees a dog involved in a bite incident is also under an obligation to report the bite. If the bite occurred in Columbus, Ohio, or greater Franklin County, you can call any of the following numbers to speak to a representative and report the bite:
- Animal Care & Control
- Columbus Health Department
- Franklin County Public Health
Reporting the Dog Bite Helps Your Case
Not only is it the law to report a dog bite quickly as it occurs, but it is also vital to your civil case against the dog’s owner that you:
- Report the incident as soon as possible after it happens.
- Get medical care for your wounds immediately, even if they appear minor.
Both steps are imperative when building a strong case and trying to hold the dog’s owner liable for your medical care, lost wages, and other expenses.
As a part of the investigation into the incident, the Bressman Law team requests copies of this report. It will list essential information about the dog bite, the dog, its owner, the location, and witnesses to the incident.
You May Be Eligible to Hold the Dog’s Owner Liable for Your Injuries
Ohio law allows you to file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the dog’s owner to recover your incident-related expenses and losses. This is true even if the dog has no history of viciousness or other bad behavior. Some states have a policy that requires a history of threatening or biting.
States that follow outdated common laws limit the victim’s ability to pursue a payout. Ohio, however, has a modern policy that holds the owner responsible for even the first bite.
If the dog’s owner has homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, this policy may cover dog bite damages up to the limits of the policy. Beyond that, the dog’s owner will be personally responsible for paying for the money awarded by the court.
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Take Action Quickly Before the Evidence to Support Your Case Disappears
While reporting your dog bite injuries as soon as possible is important, it is not enough to ensure all possible evidence in your case gets identified and analyzed.
To ensure a persuasive argument in favor of a payout, we need to go to work on your case as quickly as possible. Therefore, we recommend calling us in the first days and weeks following an injury.
Ohio law only gives us six years from the date of the bite to take legal action. In rare cases, you could have more time. If the bite injures a child, they have six years from the date they turn 18 to file a case in civil court. After that time expires, you lose the right to pursue compensation in court.
How Else You Can Protect Your Case Right After the Dog Bite
Another way to protect your case can include staying off of social media so that the insurance company cannot claim you are lying about the severity of your injuries by taking your words or photos out of context. Also, refrain from speaking to the insurers. They could record you saying something that they argue is an admission of fault.
Record your pain and healing in a journal. This way, you do not forget any important details and you can give us a timeline of how your condition progresses.
Most importantly, listen to your doctor. You do not want anyone to argue that you do not care about your healing (and thus, do not deserve compensation) because you tried to push through the pain.
Act Quickly and Talk to an Ohio Dog Bite Attorney’s Team Today
At Bressman Law, our principal attorney David Bressman has served personal injury clients for more than 30 years. We know what it takes to win a dog bite case and build an argument for negotiating a payout or taking your case to trial.
Once you have reported your dog bite, call today to talk to us about your dog bite injury in Ohio. This way we can get started on your case, and you can get started on your path toward justice.